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Missoula restaurants coping with coronavirus shutdown

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Posted at 9:09 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 11:09:24-04

MISSOULA — Missoula County ordered bars and restaurants to limit their services earlier this week and some downtown eateries are already feeling the burden.

Tuesday marked St. Patrick’s Day, a day Missoulians usually spend in crowded bars and restaurants. But this year, downtown streets and popular establishments were practically empty.

“The deliveries and the pickups from Door Dash are helping a lot. We do have a lot of construction people in here, and it’s starting to get a little crazier,” Market on Front manager Kaci Fox said. “Crazy as in normal, I should say.”

Fox says by noon there is usually a line out the door but without the option to dine in, customers are opting to pick up, "our foot traffic has gone down drastically." She did point out that pickup and delivery orders are keeping sales steady.

Missoula County ordered restaurants and bars to limit service on Monday in an effort to stall the spread of coronavirus.

“As a community, we’re really hunkering down and doing what’s responsible and what’s right, so that we are protecting our most vulnerable,” Downtown Missoula Partnership executive director Linda McCarthy told MTN News.

Customers and businesses are now looking to the Partnership for leadership. “Buy lunch and have it delivered to your office, or to somebody else’s office, purchasing gift cards and spending them at a later time,” McCarthy said.

She says those are just a couple of ways to help the community in a time like this. The restaurant restrictions are in place until next Tuesday.